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I completed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January 2010. Can I get a credit card?

By , CardRatings contributor
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Question: I completed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January 2010. Can I get a credit card?

Answer: Legally, a bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for no more than 10 years. And while it's true that bankruptcy really puts a major dent in your credit score, you can bounce back from it even while it's still showing up on your report. Have you been paying your bills diligently since January? If so, you've probably already seen your score edge upward a little.

Now, it takes time--at least a few years--to get your score back up to a decent number. In the meantime, you can apply for cards targeted at those with fair credit (if your score has inched up above 650) or for consumers with bad credit. If your score is still in the bad credit category, take a look at credit card offers for bad credit. It's entirely possible that when you apply for a secured card, you might be told you qualify for an unsecured credit card.

The most important thing to remember is that you should pay off your balance every month and make the payments on time. No exceptions! Be patient, and in time, you'll find your credit score is back where you need it to be.

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